By Elizabeth MacKinnon, Grade 9, Musquodoboit Rural High School
On Friday November 16, Musquodoboit Rural High School hosted an all-day Food-for-All Symposium. More than 40 speakers and presenters came to our school and gave talks and demonstrations. There was cheese making, knife sharpening, spoon carving, campfire cooking, permaculture, composting, tractors, bee keeping, pasta making, baking, and many more. A full list can be found on the Facebook page, Thoughtful Food Project.
The day was a really amazing learning experience for everyone involved. The most important thing about this symposium is that the kids organized a lot of it themselves, dividing up into mixed grade “pods,” with two teachers helping each pod carry out its part of putting the day together.
We spent the day in a series of keynote speakers and workshops. The only serious disappointment was that the bad weather forced us to cancel all of the outdoor workshops. We were really bummed about that. There was supposed to be outdoor workshops on “hunting with dogs’, a “women hunt,” and a fishing lesson.
I signed up for “cook up some soul food” with Pam from Cup o’ Soul Cafe in Elmsdale. That workshop was super hands on. We learned about making mother sauces. We made hollandaise sauce, curry sauce, rice and naan bread. At the end, we tried the hollandaise by itself, put the curry sauce on top of the rice, and ate that with the naan bread. It was so good. We also washed the dishes and cleaned up our mess.
After the second keynote speaker, we went to a free lunch. There were four different kinds of soups with vegetarian and gluten free options, handmade biscuits, cookies, and wraps.
Then another keynote speaker. It was a community member from Halifax Water who talked about careers in the water industry, gave out prizes, and said our water system in Middle Musquodoboit is very high-tech and professional.
I had signed up for “Get the greenhouse growing” with Amy Hill. We planned out how and when we were going to plant food in the greenhouse this year and next year so that we could have produce in time for using in the school cafeteria. We also talked about adding raised beds and how to successfully transplant from inside to the greenhouse, and to the raised beds.
Amy shared her experience with farming and some difficult and successful times in her farming career so far. Her favourite plants were tomatoes “because there are so many different kinds. We grow crazy tomatoes like purple, blue, black, fleshy, ridged, bumpy, striped, and heirloom tomatoes.
I would like to give credit to all the teachers of MRHS who helped out and the wonderful people who thought up this event. They are truly creative people and deserve a round of applause. I should also say thank you all of the speakers, you did a really great job and everybody loved it.